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Things That Go Bump in the Night: The Violent Universe

by Brea Aamoth on September 3rd, 2015

Join radio astronomer Dr. Geoffrey Bower representing Submillimeter Array (SMA) for the next Maunkea Skies talk, “Things That Go Bump in the Night: The Violent Universe,” in the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center Planetarium on Friday, September 18 at 7:00 pm.


Supernovae Remnant

From the earliest of times, man has greeted the appearance of a new star in the sky as a herald of cosmic mystery. Today, astronomers use modern instruments to sift through massive amounts of data, eagerly searching the sky for time-variable phenomena such as explosive events marking the appearance of new stars. Such events reveal the universe at its most energetic and violent during periods when massive amounts of energy may be released in as little time as a few milliseconds.

Studies of supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, black holes, neutron stars, and other phenomena are giving us new insights into everything from the evolution of stars and the nature of matter to the evolution of the Universe itself, but as this Maunakea Skies presentation will show, there is much that we still do not fully understand. Newly discovered phenomena such as fast radio bursts are an unsolved puzzle. Are they bursts from the edge of the Universe? Exotic stars in our Galaxy? Beacons of extra-terrestrial intelligence? Or simply radiation leaked from our own microwave ovens here on earth?

Dr. Geoffrey Bower

Dr. Geoffrey Bower

Dr. Geoffrey Bower is Chief Scientist for Hawaii Operations for the Academica Sinica Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA). Dr. Bower studies black holes and other energetic phenomena using radio telescopes, including the Submillimeter Array on Maunakea, the Very Large Array in New Mexico, and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile. A graduate of Princeton University and UC Berkeley, Dr. Bower has previously performed his research and taught at the Max Planck Institut für Radioastronomie in Germany, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in New Mexico, and UC Berkeley.

Maunakea Skies program will be hosted by Emily Peavy, ‘Imiloa planetarium staff. She will provide observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, pointing out prominent constellations and stars one can see during this time of year.

The monthly Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. Cost is $8 for Individual, Dual, Kupuna and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold and Corporate Members. Non-member rate is $10. Pre-purchase tickets at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at 969-9703.

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo, off Komohana and Nowelo Streets at the UH Hilo Science and Technology Park. For more information, go to

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